Video Presentations Can Help to Give the WOW Factor!
Getting visitors to stay on your site for more than a few seconds can be difficult. By adding a video to the page can make all the difference between someone hanging around for a while – and be entertained – rather than arriving then immediately bouncing off. Google Analytics calls this the bounce rate.
We tend to scan a landing page in fractions of a second and make our informed choices whether to stay or not. We’re impatient and know what we want, and are very much prepared to watch a video to gain more information.
It’s all about animated cartoons!
Cartoon Presentation Software Can Do the Trick
Cartoons enthrall us and have done for ages. Watching a Disney or a Simpsons cartoon, to name just two can keep us rooted in our seats. Why? Because we are being entertained by the animations. So, why not consider this method of marketing for our sites? Make fun animated videos, engage with the visitor and try to create a relationship.
Traffic, we all know is the name of the game, so if we manage to attract people successfully to our site, we must offer them an experience of wanting more right from the offset. Cartoon Presentation Software is one way to address this.
When you land on many pages nowadays you’ll be faced with possibly a video or some other attention-grabbing graphics. Something to catch our gaze as we perform that speedy scrutinizing.
5 of the Best Animation Programs
PowToon – Captivate… Engage… Explain!
PowToon is an online tool for creating simple style presentations with some cool effects thrown in. These are in the form of pop-up cartoon characters as well as various others symbols, which help tell your story.
It’s a very easy program to learn and once you’ve started to create your first toon it won’t take long to master – albeit with limited graphic resources. Signing up is free, so you can get in and start playing around straight away.
They have some attractive templates with helpful tutorials, and once you grasp how the program works, you can start to create items on your canvas quite quickly. You can then output the video to YouTube with the PowToon logo embedded at the bottom of your video, or upgrading to a pro or agency plan will remove it! Both subscriptions and Pay per export options are offered.
Price Plans as of May 2017: [Business pricing see here…]
Free – Free
Pro – $19/mth (billed annually)
Agency – $59/mth (billed annually)
You don’t have to be able to draw to use VideoScribe, but if you’re an illustrator, then you’ll be very much at home with it!
VideoScribe does a good job of the effect of someone drawing a picture and writing words across the screen. With an extensive library of images (fewer while using the trial), you can create your storyline then select the graphics and enter the text – all very simple and organized.
Should you wish to import graphics of your own, you can do so using the .svg format. The graphic will then be drawn in by hand. Although the software is only able to draw in the outline and then automatically fill in the colors, the effects are still fairly good.
There is a music library with dozens of tracks, rated calm to heavy, so you can choose any one to accompany your video. I enjoyed using this program which can be learned extremely quickly indeed – always vital! The lifetime price is not expensive, as once purchased you would never have any more monthly bills. Buying it was one of the best decisions I made and now that I own it outright, I can enjoy future upgrades forever – all for free!
Price Plans as of May 2017: [See price plans here…]
Free – Free for 1-week trial
Monthly – $29.00/mth
Yearly – $144 ($12/mth)
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This is my first attempt at making an animated video after I took out a starter trial. It was enough to make me buy the program. It’s a joy to use and will save me from having to outsource the production in the future, which could save me between $50 and $150 for each completed video – a saving not to be sneezed at!
Prezi is slightly different from the others here. It’s basically just presentation software which has evolved to allow certain movements between points to create a sense of flow. If you are looking for hand writing and drawing of items then this program is not for you.
Prezi opens with a great templates library with over 50 slides to choose from, all of which have basic animation built in, and some actually include photo-realistic graphics. You can add text, images, and YouTube videos to areas of the slide and then it’s just a matter of creating a path for the animation to follow. Transitions are seamless between scenes. Elements are added onto the slide from the library but are not editable, and there is simple 3D functionality which is mostly adequate.
If you prefer to work offline, there is a version that can be downloaded onto your computer for use without the net, however working online may be more convenient as your work is accessible from anywhere. Prezi is a glorified Powerpoint, but try it out and see for yourself!
Price Plans as of February 2017: [See price plans here…]
Public – Free
Enjoy – $4.92/mth – ($59.00 pa)
Pro – $13.25/mth ($159 pa)
Moovly With Moovly you can create:
- Animated Videos
- Video Clips
- Display Ads
- Interactive Infographics
Like most other animation software, the logo remains on the video on all free versions, so if you’re worried about this or need to be thoroughly professional, one of the paid versions will probably be for you.
The interface is similar to the competition in that items are selected from a library and dragged onto the canvas, and images can be uploaded from your computer as well. All elements have a load of options for the style of drawing the way the hand moves in, the timing of the content within the scene and fading in and out of the transitions.
Video dimensions format can be adjusted to suit widescreen, YouTube 720px, pillar box and banner type. Once completed you can either download in video .mp4 format or upload directly to YouTube or Vimeo.
Just remember, the limitations to the free plan are:
- Videos of no more than 10 mins can be made.
- Video download can only be saved in 480px format.
- The library is limited to 100Mb or 20 item uploads.
Price Plans as of May 2017: [See price plans here…]
Moovly Education – Free
Moovly Unlimited – $5/mth
Moovly Business – $300/yr
GoAnimate is web-based which means that it runs directly on your web browser with no need to install the application. This means that you must be connected to the Internet to use the program.
It comes with a comprehensive library of scenes and elements, but what make it slightly different from the other animated software reviewed here is that motion can be applied to the characters. The ability to make a small cartoon scene come to life with movement makes this program more detailed and easier to use, and the start-up tutorial is excellent. You can be making your first animated video within minutes.
The interface has three main sections: the stage, where actors and props are manipulated onto ; the timeline, which holds the video scenes and audio tracks; and the asset area, which contains all the elements, such as the backgrounds, the characters, the props and various other assets, including a good selection voices for the voice-overs.
Another great feature is the ability to import images, sound files and videos. Being able to create your own voice-over for higher quality audio is another bonus, should you not want to use one of the voices supplied. Other shapes and animations created in other programs (i.e. Adobe Photoshop and Flash) can also be imported.
All in all, GoAnimate is one of the best and most comprehensive animation programs available. It’s user-friendly and easy to learn and the free account offers a wider library choice than the others. I liked it for the ability to create character movement rather than just having a person standing or sitting in the same position.
Price Plans as of May 2017: [Private & Business Plans…]
GoPublish – $39/month ($299/year)
GoPremium – $79/month ($599/year)
GoTeam – $159/month ($999/year)
Having tried a few of the programs under trial conditions I’m amazed at the flexibility they offer. I enjoyed VideoScribe and PowToon the most as they require virtually no learning time; you can start the trial and be up and running straight away. All 5 items of presentation software are very different from each other – so try them out to find which one suits you best!
GoAnimate offers the best selection of elements to work with from the start and it’s quite different in its structural interface, but it’s a little more expensive!
If I’m pushed to select one, I would definitely go for VideoScribe. It has the easiest and simplest interface to work with, and the results are awesome. My second choice would be PowToon, as you can upload videos you’ve created while still on the free plan.
Which animated program do you find the best and why?
Have you made any animated videos before? What were your experiences? I’d like to hear your opinion, please leave a comment below:
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